Boy, I sure hope he can survive that incredibly harsh sentence of two whole weeks in jail for stalking. And what makes this case of stalking so "special"? Well, it's the ever-so-slightly unusual method that Hall chose to try to get his ex-girlfriend's attention.
Blake Hall, a leading figure in Idaho and national politics for 25 years, was fired Monday as a deputy prosecuting attorney in eastern Idaho and has resigned from the Republican National Committee.
Hall, a former member of the state Board of Education, pleaded guilty Friday to stalking a former girlfriend and is serving a 15-day jail sentence. He also was sentenced to a year of supervised probation. A six-month jail sentence was suspended. [Idaho Statesman via AlterNet]
Idaho Falls police reported that witnesses said Hall disposed of used condoms on the lawn of the woman's house. Nineteen condoms were turned over to police, collected on 10 different dates, according to a police report. Both Hall and his lawyer acknowledged the condoms belonged to him, according to a police report.
Also, between March and August, Hall repeatedly followed the woman to restaurants, the movies and her home, and he ignored her repeated requests that he leave her alone, according to police and court records.
The victim testified Friday that Hall once followed her to a Walmart and took her car keys and would not return them until she agreed to "hear him out" concerning her marriage, the Idaho Falls Post Register reported.
"I was so tired of being victimized," the woman said. "It is unimaginable that a 56-year-old would be so deviant." [Emphasis mine]
I admit that that last quote made me laugh - would this guy's deviant behavior be more understandable if he was, say, 37 or 52? I do get her point though - the brilliant 'condoms on the lawn ploy' does seem much more likely to spring from the mind of a 19 year old frat boy than a 56 year old attorney and fine upstanding Republican.
Seriously, who does that? And not just one used condom on the lawn, but nineteen condoms on ten different occasions. I just really don't understand how you come to a point in your life where that seems like a good idea. Do you think he ever stopped himself, like maybe around condom eleven or so, to reassess his strategy...or his mental health?
And what exactly were all of those condoms supposed to accomplish? From the rest of the story, it seems like Hall was trying to get his ex to take him back. Or, more accurately, that's what it seems like he thought he was doing, although what he was actually doing was stalking and harassing her. So how does the condom throwing figure into the 'if she would just hear me out she'd realize that we're meant to be together' strategy? Was the message supposed to be "remember all of the great sex we used to have"? Or "I just had some great sex...with myself, and I wanted to let you know I was thinking about you during it"? Or, "I'm bringing you physical proof that I just had sex with someone else, are you overcome with jealousy and ready to leave your husband for me yet?" Or maybe just, "I'm a creepy douchebag."
But Hall, 56, will keep his $31,000-a-year job as the civil attorney in nearby Fremont County, according to Prosecutor Joette Lookabaugh, a Republican who hired Hall in January.
Lookabaugh said she told Hall he would keep his job "unless or until his ability to do an outstanding job for Fremont County citizens is compromised."
In a news release, Lookabaugh suggested Hall was singled out because of his notoriety.
"I understand that political figures are held to a higher standard," she said. "What is disturbing is the fact that often people who have devoted their lives to public service are not given the same benefits, or are treated more harshly, than the public at large. There seems to be a certain amount of political glee in striking down the well-known for any real or perceived foible."
This guy is a stalker who threw used condoms on his victim's lawn not once, but nineteen times. I think we're well past "foible" territory here. And as far as the claim that Hall is being "held to a higher standard" because he's a political figure...how fucking low would your standards have to be for you to consider Hall's behavior acceptable? This isn't one of those cases where some Republican makes an offensive comment and is 'struck down' by the wacky liberal PC police, or has to hold a tearful press conference because he got caught cheating on his wife. He's going to jail for a crime that he admitted to committing.
Also on Hall's side was his lawyer, David Leroy, who said, "In my opinion, he accepted this severe penalty with extreme grace. He was calm and strong." His definition of the word severe must be much different than mine. Leroy also complained about the fact that the judge in the case denied his work release request, which would have allowed Hall to continue to go to work each day and only spend his nights in jail.
So because he has no prior criminal record, he deserves an even lighter sentence than 15 days? He can't spend two damn weeks in jail to pay for what was apparently many weeks or months of invading a woman's privacy, following her around, harassing her, and have we mentioned yet that he had a habit of throwing his used condoms on her lawn? It certainly seems like Leroy is one of the many people who just don't get how serious stalking is. And, you know, going beyond that...call me crazy, but I'm almost starting to get the feeling that, as a general rule, Republicans just don't respect women all that much. But maybe that's just me.
"Blake Hall has absolutely no prior criminal record," Leroy said. "Yet he was denied a privilege commonly given in that jurisdiction of work release to attend to business during a relatively brief period of incarceration."
Special Prosecutor Jay Rosenthal said Monday that the sentence was appropriate.
"I believe the judge recognized how invasive this defendant was in the life of this young lady," Rosenthal said. "He held her effectively prisoner in her own community, and he needed to know what it was like to not be free."
...Said [Judge] Harding: "I've never seen (a stalking case) this extensive where it lasted so long and (was) such an invasion of privacy."